We recently asked Roger Foss, West End theatre critic, writer and broadcaster, to review Brick Lane Music Hall and this is what he wrote:

“What a place! What fun! What food! What a show! What a fab night out! I seem to spend spent half my life in theatres and I really do mean what I’m saying. And when so many people say there is nowhere else like Brick Lane Music Hall, you can bet your bottom dollar that they really mean what they are saying too. The truth is, I’ve entertained a soft spot for this place ever since it first opened in Brick Lane itself. But now, whenever I pop into the former St Mark’s Church in Silvertown for an evening show or an afternoon tea matinee, I invariably get a sort of gut feeling that it’s really like stepping out of the real world and into a kind of show biz heaven where the bells ring out to celebrate the sheer joy of pure entertainment.

It’s not just what’s happening on stage that strikes me as so unique: the fast-moving revue-style format with a regularly changing special theme feels bang up-to-date and it’s a comedy-and-song format that has never been bettered, while it’s no cliché to describe the sets, costumes, staging and terrific cast as being of West End quality. Invariably, I’m just as gob-smacked by the pre-show menu on offer. How on earth does the chef manage to feed so many people in one go and keep it all as fresh and tasty as if he were cooking for one? It’s pukka stuff alright. Jamie Oliver, eat your heart out!

Special kudos to the friendly uniformed waiting staff who buzz about to ensure the party goes with a swing. And full marks to comedian Vincent Hayes who holds the shows together with a mix of belly laugh humour and off-the cuff repartee. In fact, few entertainment venues hold a candle to this premiere house of fun. To me, spending a night at Brick Lane Music Hall is like giving yourself an award for just being alive! Sounds profound maybe. But you know what? I really do mean it!”

Roger Foss is a West End theatre critic, writer and broadcaster. You can hear him talking theatre every week on The Steve Allen Show on LBC97.3


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